QuickBizBreak by david weaver

Take a quick break from your biz to ponder new ideas and strategies that will turbocharge your business.

Posts Tagged ‘customer service’

Are You Operating Differently On-Line vs. Off-Line?

Posted by QuickBizBreak on December 4, 2009

Does your online customer service and behavior reflect the service one would expect if they walked into your store or place of business?  Are you sure?

I’m not talking about how easy it may be to navigate pages or menus, whether on-line or on-phone (how’s that for  a new word?).  No, I’m talking simple policies and procedures.  Do you require something different of your customers and prospects online than you do in person?

My wife recently faced the task of replacing a missing button on a pair of our son’s favorite shorts.  Yes, he wears shorts well into winter.  He is, after all, a teenager.  As these shorts are of a particular popular brand with their logo on the button, she couldn’t replace it with any old generic style button.

First, she called the corporate office.  After explaining the situation, she was not offered a new button.  Oh no.  She was offered a new pair of shorts!  Wow, what great service, you may think!  And it is, except that my wife had not purchased the shorts online, she had purchased them from one of the corporate stores.  Oops!  “Sorry, we can’t replace items purchased in our stores, only those purchased online”, came the reply.

What?  Does that make sense?  Not to worry.  My wife drove to the store where she purchased the shorts, with the receipt, just for kicks.  “Sorry, we don’t replace clothing items.  You’ll have to call our corporate customer service”.  Oops again.

“But we don’t want another pair of shorts” my wife pleaded, “just a button!”  “Sorry, we don’t stock buttons.”  OK, you get the picture.

Why do large companies, or even some small ones, want to make it so difficult to get resolution to a problem?  Small businesses have the opportunity to offer personalized service.  That’s one of the hallmarks of dealing with a closely-held business.  Just don’t make the mistake of changing that great service attitude when you open your on-line store!

David Weaver
Small Business Advisory Services

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Do You Love What You Do?

Posted by QuickBizBreak on July 23, 2009

Not HappyDo you work for a living? Or do you live for each new day of opportunity, sharing your passion for what you do?

I know of few people who can honestly say they fit the description in that second sentence. After all, we have to make a living, to feed and provide for ourselves and our family. Many of us took off on an early career, for money or simply because it was what was offered, and have never veered far from the direction it has taken us. It may even be our own business that has us unsatisfied. We may have started a business years ago and have allowed either our business or ourselves to stagnate (or perhaps both).

I was engaged in a conversation this week regarding customer service, or the lack thereof, and thought of the people we come into contact with who appear truly miserable. Maybe it’s their personal life, maybe it’s their position in life, maybe it’s their job, but something really has them singing the blues. Well, not even singing. More like grumbling and snarling. What I realized is that it’s difficult to motivate employees to provide an outstanding customer experience if they’re genuinely unhappy. No training in the world will change that situation.

Equally important, we can’t inspire our employees, our prospects or our customers if our own leadership doesn’t reflect the attitude we want to share with our customers.

Have you ever walked into a shop or restaurant where the owner or employee is genuinely thrilled to talk with you about their product, their service, their business? I love that experience because I know the person I’m talking with is genuinely engaged and passionate about what they are doing. I want to come back and experience that again. I want to spread the word – “Hey, there’s someone here who is really excited about their business!”

If you’ve “lost that lovin’ feeling” for your business, is it possible that you’ve lost the excitement about where that business is taking you? Here are some steps to consider:

1) Ask yourself why you started or purchased a business in the first place.
2) What was your original goal with the business?
3) Do you still have the same goal or has it changed?
4) Does that goal for your business support your personal goals for income, your lifestyle, wealth and equity?
5) If not, adjust your business goals to provide what you really want, whether it’s more revenue and profits or even if it’s to spend less time in the business.
6) Now, create a plan for your business that will allow it perform to your expectations. It may mean new strategies, new products, new markets or simply focusing on the key activities that are necessary to ensure peak performance. Not sure how?
7) Get a coach. If it works for a world-class athlete like Tiger Woods, it can work for a world-class business owner like you!

David Weaver


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